Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement


Many people within today’s Messianic sphere of influence recognize the need to interpret the letters of the Apostle Paul from the vantage point of their First Century recipients in the Mediterranean. Yet, many of the same are unwilling to read the Torah from the vantage point of its original Ancient Israelite recipients in the Ancient Near East.

Torah observance is much more than just Shabbat, the festivals, and kosher. A great number of ethical and moral issues/commandments become significantly conscious to the Torah reader. Likewise, a person has to encounter a world going not only back some 3,300 years to the time of the Exodus, but multiplied millennia to the Creation of the cosmos itself. The questions and the controversies that the first five books of the Bible present to us, not just as students of God’s Word, but specifically as Messianic Believers—are quite significant. Many people do not know what to do when the social norms of the ancient period are different than those of today, and are often at a loss when reading the Torah. Not infrequently, such issues are just avoided or outright ignored in Messianic Torah study.

One area that receives some discussion, in various parts of the Messianic movement, is whether or not the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)—which we usually refer to as the Torah—should ever be called the Law. A statement that can be heard from time to time in our Messianic faith community, is: The Torah is teaching. The Torah is not the law. It is said that Torah just means Teaching or Instruction, and should never be referred to by the term law.

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics goes through the study questions for Ch 3 in the Messianic Beginnings workbook:

1. What are some examples of common Christian ignorance of the Torah? Do you think this is acceptable for those who claim to study and know the Bible?

2. Do you believe knowing about the Torah is important for our faith and having a proper foundation for understanding the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament)? Why or why not?

3. Give examples of modern societal degradation that have resulted, or can result, from not heeding the Torah’s commandments.

4. In what sense is the Torah “Teaching”? In what sense is the Torah “Law”?

5. Give some examples, based in the Torah, of how Believers are to be holy, or more specifically set-apart, from the world. How important do you believe this is?

6. Why do you think many believe that the Messiah abolished the Torah? Do you believe that “fulfill” means “abolish”? Why or why not?

7. Why do you think that many Bible teachers speak against the Torah?

8. What do you believe the correct meaning of “under the Law” is?

9. Understanding that Yeshua upheld the validity of the Torah or Law of Moses, how might we reconcile what many claim about Paul and other authors in the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), to His words?

10. List some specific reasons why born again Believers need the Torah.

11. What is sin, Biblically defined? What is lawlessness, Biblically defined?

12. If sin is indeed disobedience to the Torah, what things might you need to change in your life? What things do you need to pray about?

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